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About Tick insects in the UK

This page is about tick insects and how to avoid them.

 The Following information is courtesy of Dr Jim Douglas of Lochaber Medical Centre in Fort William. You can download and read a PDF of this information at the foot of this page.

We all look forward to summer and getting into the countryside and gardens.

The midges are a nuisance which we all curse.  The midges don’t leave any lasting effects on our bodies but up to 10% of summer ticks can cause Lyme disease unless we look for ticks and remove them properly.

Lyme disease is easily prevented and treated, with some common sense!

What is the problem with ticks in Scotland?
The undergrowth in the countryside from spring until autumn is covered in tiny ticks which live on deer, rodents and ground nesting birds.  Up to 10% of ticks may carry bacteria in the stomach of the tick which is transferred to people and animals when the tick attaches itself and feeds off our blood.  If the tick is removed quickly and correctly there is no risk to health but there is a risk of developing Lyme disease if this is not done properly.  March to October are the at risk months in Scotland for ticks.

Q. Does Lochaber have a particular problem with ticks or Lyme disease?
No.  Lochaber is no worse for ticks than any other part of Scotland.
 The ticks are also a problem in England in areas such as the New Forest.  They are also a problem throughout the whole of Northern Europe.

How can I stop getting tick bites?
Stick to paths to avoid walking through undergrowth with your legs exposed.  Wear long trousers and tuck them into your socks.  Be extra vigilant if you are wearing shorts and sitting on the ground! The ticks like groins, behind knees and armpits where you may not see them easily.  You may need to get someone else to check your body for ticks!

Click here to access the PDF file about Tick Insects